Phil Jackson can't coach. Kobe needs to shoot more. Kobe needs to shoot less. The team can't hold a lead. They need more passion. Will everyone just take a deep breath, including T.J. (they aren't entertaining) Simers, and just let the Lakers take care of business?
Ralph S. Brax
Read the letters last week criticizing the Lakers. Apparently their three championships and two other appearances in the Finals since 2000 are not enough for some people.
Mr. LaRochelle calls Kobe the second-best player on the Lakers. This should be enough evidence to have him take a drug test. If Kobe isn't the best player on the planet, he's in the top two. If these unsatisfied Lakers fans aren't happy with the Lakers and Kobe, there is another NBA team in the city.
Bill Plaschke, your seat on press row may be too close for you to understand the game. It's about matchups. The only salient point in your April 28 column was pointing out Andrew Bynum was guarding the 6-foot-8 Paul Millsap, an obvious mismatch in terms of foot speed.
Lakers players and coaches recognized the Jazz series wasn't a good fit for Bynum, who is a throwback low-post center, and look to the next series, when there will be more natural matchups for Bynum's current skill set.
I do hope someone makes you a GM so you can waive, trade or release players who fail to live up to your unrealistic expectations. So stop with the sky-is-falling criticisms as Bynum figures to play a key role in the Lakers' future.
Maybe I'm one of those dullards who just can't comprehend Bill Plaschke's brilliant analysis of the Lakers.
After reading the columns on Kobe "asserting" himself, I looked at the box score for Game 3 against Utah and saw that Kobe took 24 shots to go along with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two turnovers. But then in Game 4, Kobe came out blazing, jacking up 24 shots to go along with six rebounds, one assist, two steals and two turnovers. And in spite of Kobe's scoring the team's first 11 points, the Lakers still trailed 14-11.
I know it's all spelled out in black and white in front of me, but I just can't figure out how Kobe "asserted" himself. Did he "assert" the ball into the basket 11 more times in Game 4? Did he "assert" the team to win the rebounding battle? Or did he "assert" the bench to contribute more as Walton-Vujacic-Brown went from a combined seven points in Game 3 to 28 in Game 4?
I wish I could imagine what's next. Does Gasol take up sumo wrestling? Should the Lakers trade Lamar Odom before the next series because we can't trust him to play consistently? Are the Lakers doomed to lose to Denver because the Nuggets are such a great defensive team? I can hardly wait to be illuminated by Mr. Plaschke's next epiphany.
Bill Plaschke is an entertaining guy at times, definitely has seen a thing or two and is occasionally insightful, but it'd be nice if he would stop with the drama-laden, ominously portentous, one-sentence statements. I mean one every now and then, judiciously chosen, would draw attention to them for effect. But the article on Bynum opened with 10 in a row.
It's like you're reading the all-knowing words of a prophet, anticipating enlightenment or divine interpretation . . . but about a basketball player who isn't playing well.
It says so much more about the ego-driven drivel of T.J. Simers than anything he could possibly come up with about Phil Jackson, that T.J. doesn't get why Jackson is such a rare and coveted coach of professional athletes.
When T.J. writes in his latest screed on Phil and the Lakers, "When you think of the guy, do you think of him as Chicago's Phil Jackson, or L.A.'s Phil Jackson?" I am filled with only one fervent wish. That we here in L.A. could think of "Chicago's T.J. Simers" (if we thought of him at all) more than anything else in the whole, wide world.
It amazes me that the billion-dollar empire known as the L.A. Lakers cannot afford to buy an authentic 21st-century knee brace that does not exacerbate the injury of Andrew Bynum while his knee heals. It's a little bit like driving a Ford instead of a Honda just because Fords are manufactured in Detroit. Wouldn't want Andrew to wear a comfortable brace that permits him to run at full pace without pain, would we?